Best In-House Marketing 2021 – sponsored by The Pond

With a vision to be the most loved power company, and a brand promise to ‘do business the Kiwi way’, Electric Kiwi brought its comms strategy to life in 2020 with a catchy tune full of personality and a reminder of the brand’s benefits.

The right tune

The challenge

By the end of the 2020 financial year, brand tracking research showed awareness of the Electric Kiwi brand was at 44 percent, and preference seven percent. This put the power company in fifth place in the market, ahead of major challengers such as Flick and Powershop, but behind the big players such as Meridian, Genesis and Contact. 

The percentage of awareness that the brand converted to preference was much higher than its competitors, but to achieve its vision of being New Zealand’s most loved power company, the marketing team needed to move the dial on awareness. So, it set an ambitious increased sales target of 22 percent FY21.

To achieve this, Electric Kiwi had to look beyond media spend – realising that it could not compete with the big five whose share of expenditure in the category was 72 percent compared to its six percent. To get to the most loved power company, Electric Kiwi needed to get more cut-through with its creative, and more efficacy with its media than the other guys. 

The response

Electric Kiwi approached this challenge by employing an internal agency model for its creative. All advertising at Electric Kiwi is created in-house by its team of 10 (covering both the NZ and AU markets). This includes social media campaigns and content, print media, images for social and programmatic ads. It also includes production of its TVCs. The team write, produce, shoot, direct, edit and colour-grade in-house. Aware that a top agency could produce video work with higher production values, but at its budget levels, the marketing team didn’t believe that they could produce better ROI. 

The team was able to produce the Electric Kiwi song TVC for less than $20,000, and this price point allowed for more money to go into media. The creative, ‘being a bit sh*t’ is part of what makes the brand stand out. Their customers know it’s authentic and respond to this well. 

Another unique and powerful element of this campaign was the extent to which the fans of Electric Kiwi were encouraged to become involved. This included numerous versions of the song being created. The attention to grass roots is a large part of the value that Electric Kiwi is able to create, as well as the preference for the brand that it fosters.

The result

Following the campaign, Electric Kiwi achieved number one in preference, with 13 percent. This was an increase of six percent YOY and four percent higher than the next best (Meridian). Even though awareness has increased dramatically, Electric Kiwi is still by far the most effective in market at converting awareness into preference, as a result of the campaign.

In FY20 Electric Kiwi exceeded internal sales targets by nearly 20 percent, in a year with very significant Covid-19 impacts.  

Category: Best In-house Marketing

Company: Electric Kiwi

Marketing Initiative: Electric Kiwi Song Ad

Marketing Partners: Lassoo Media

Judges’ Comments: “Outstanding business results, whether delivered by an in-house team or external agency. Understanding Kiwis and their drivers, from which to build the marketing activities for the year worked, with exceptional results for a low involvement and highly competitive dominated category.”

Finalists: Powershop (two times finalist), NZSki

This article was first published in the 2021 December/January issue of NZ Marketing magazine. You can subscribe to the magazine, here. Or read the other winner stories, here.

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